1. The following policy applies where any
- member of staff,
- member of the public
has significant concerns about the conduct of anyone associated with the Academy which cannot be resolved through normal management channels.
2. It is not intended to be used in cases where established management procedures (e.g. Grievance, Capability or Disciplinary procedures) would apply.
3. The policy covers conduct which may be unlawful and/or against this Corporate Governance Framework, the Academy’s Financial Procedures or established standards of practice.
4. No-one acting in good faith who raises a genuine concern under this policy will be at risk of losing their job, or suffering any form of retribution or disadvantage, even if their concern proves mistaken.
5. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 covers this policy. It applies to people at work, (which means employees, workers, contractors, agency staff and trainees). Disclosure may be protected if the whistleblower has an honest and reasonable suspicion that the malpractice has occurred or likely to occur.
1.2 How to raise a concern
6. Please raise any concern with the Headteacher first, if possible. This may be done orally or in writing.
7. If you do not wish to do this for any reason, please raise the matter with The Chair of Governors. If the concern relates to the Chair of Governors, please raise the matter with the Responsible Person.
8. If these channels have been followed and you still have concerns, or if you feel that the matter is so serious that you cannot discuss it with any of the above, please contact the Secretary to the Governing Body (who is independent of the school) who will raise it with the external auditors.
9. If you want to contact someone other than the Headteacher, please write to them at the School, marking your letter for their personal attention
Chair of Governors
1.3 How we will handle the matter
10. Once you have told us of your concern, we will tell you who is handling the matter, how you can contact them, and whether your further assistance may be needed. We may ask you how you think the matter might best be resolved. If you do have any personal interest in the matter, we ask that you tell us at the outset.
11. We will assess initially what action should be taken. This may involve an internal inquiry or a more formal investigation. We will tell you what we are doing and how long we expect this to take.
12. We will tell you the outcome of our investigation and what action we are taking. If we decide to take no action following an investigation, we will tell you why. We will try and give you reasonable detail, but what we can say may be limited, for example because we have a duty of confidence to someone else.
13. Where appropriate, we may involve outside agencies, such as the police.
14. We will try and resolve your concern to your satisfaction. However, if you think from our response that we have failed to address the concern you raised, you can contact one of the other people listed above. If you think we are concealing malpractice, please contact the National Audit Office, whose details are given below.
15. Please say if you want to raise the matter in confidence. If you do, the person to whom you report the concern to will not tell anyone else your name without your permission, although this may make it harder for us to look into the matter.
16. Please be aware that although we will not pass on your name, once we start to investigate, others may be able to guess who you are from the nature of your complaint.
17. If the situation arises where we are not able to resolve your concern without revealing your identity (for instance, because your evidence is needed in court), we will discuss with you whether and how we can proceed.
18. You must treat the person or persons who are the subject of your concern fairly. You must not risk damaging their reputation by repeating your concerns to others while the matter is being investigated. Disciplinary action may be taken against any member of staff who is discovered to have made allegations falsely or maliciously, or who disclose confidential, false or misleading information.
1.6 Independent advice
19. If you are unsure whether to use this procedure or you want independent advice at any stage, you may contact: the independent charity Public Concern at Work on 020 7404 6609 or www.pcaw.co.uk. They can give you free confidential advice at any stage about how to raise a concern about serious malpractice at work.
1.7 National Audit Office
20. The National Audit Office, which reports to Parliament, has a hotline you can call on
020 7798 609
or you can write to:
The Comptroller and Auditor General
National Audit Office
157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9SP